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Guide to Southern Writers
a selection of resources
a country swing. Billy Humphries, Forest Resource Consultants, Inc.,
One of the richest cultural traditions of the South is its history of literature and storytelling. Common themes used by Southern writers are a sense of place, strong family relationships and a rich tapestry of language and character.


016     Bibliography
050     General Serials & their Indexes
810     American Literature in English
920     Biographical
975     General History of North America
see also: individual authors located in the Biography section of the library

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Web Sites

Olive Ann Burns
Information about a popular southern author who only completed one book during her lifetime.

The Erskine Caldwell Website
Contains information on one of the most widely read southern author of the twentieth century.

A Pat Conroy Appreciation Site
Biography, titles, movies, gallery, articles and news.

James Dickey Page
Life and works of James Dickey including photographs of the author.

MWP: William Faulkner (1897-1962)
Contains biographical information on William Faulkner who many consider the greatest southern author of the twentieth century.

Lanier, Sidney
Life and writings of the Georgia born poet.

ClassicNote: Biography of Harper Lee
Biography of Harper Lee, the Alabama-born author of To Kill a Mockingbird.

Harper Lee & To Kill a Mockingbird
Links about the author, the movie and the area where the author grew up.

Margaret Mitchell...the creator of a legend
Information about the author of one of the best selling novels of all time.

Fiction Authors in Depth - Flannery O'Connor - Meyer Literature
Biography and chronology of the short life of Flannery O’Connor.

About Mark Twain
Biography, timeline and links to his works that are available online.

Alice Walker
Links to the life and works of Alice Walker.

Mississippi Writers Page: Eudora Welty (1909-2001)
Background information on the Mississippi author.

MWP: Tennessee Williams (1911-1983)
Mississippi Writers Page website, Biographical Information on Tennessee Williams who is considered one of America’s greatest playwrights and one of the more well known of Southern authors.

The Thomas Wolfe Web Site
Biography and photo gallery of one of the great southern authors of all time.


Gayle, Robert L. Plots and Characters in the Works of Mark Twain. Hamden, Connecticut: Shoe String Press, 1973.
Call No.: REF 818 v.1
Call No.: REF 818 v.2

LeMaster, J.R. The Mark Twain Encyclopedia. New York: Garland Press, 1993.
Call No.: REF 818 MARK

Mixon, Wayne. People’s Writer: Erskine Caldwell and the South. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 1995.
Call No.: NONFIC 813.52 MIXON

Powers, Ron. Dangerous Water: A Biography of the Boy who Became Mark Twain. New York: Basic Books, 1999.
Call No.: NONFIC 818.409 POWERS

Watkins, James H., ed. Southern Selves: From Mark Twain and Eudora Welty to Maya Angelou and Kaye Gibbons: Collection of Autobiographical Writing. New York: Vintage Book, 1998.
Call No.: NONFIC 810.9975 SOUTHERN

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Web Sites

Agee Films: Great Southern Books
Contains a list of 125 great southern books that were compiled from a poll of book editors, publishers, scholars and reviewers of the "most remarkable works of twentieth century southern literature." Includes the top 25 Great Southern Books in order and the next 100 Great Southern Books.

American Literature on the Web
Contains links to websites about Southern Literature.

Documenting the American South
A collection of sources on Southern history, literature and culture from the colonial period through the first decades of the 20th century.

Faulkner and the Southern Gothic
Information on Faulkner's book, Absalom, Absalom, & the Southern Gothic Style of Writing.

Library of Southern Literature
Contains a collection of electronic texts and introduction to literature in the South. Includes an extensive bibliography of fiction and non fiction southern authors.

Living by Words- The South
Essay that answers the questions, "Why Are There So Many Great Southern Writers?"

Lucinda MacKethan, An Overview of Southern Literature by Genre
An essay on the South's own genres.

Southern Literature
Contains links to sites for individual authors and southern culture.

Southern Literature: Women Writers
Overview of well-known and forgotten women writers of the south.

The Southerner | Growing Up Southern
The South and what it means to grow up Southern; information about Mississippi writer, Willie Morris.

Southern Writers
By Charles Langley; Let me tell you about Southern Writers.

SSSL: Bibliography: A Checklist of Scholarship on Southern Literature
Writers after 1900. Essays in this collection contain a biographical sketch, a discussion of the writer’s major themes and a chronological listing of primary materials.


Bain, Robert, ed. Southern Writers: A Biographical Dictionary. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1980.
Call No.: REF 928.1

Dixon, Al, ed. The Quotable South. Athens: Hill Street Press, 2001.
Call No.: REF 975 QUOTABLE

Flora, Joseph, ed. The Companion to Southern Literature: themes, genres, places, people, movements, and motifs. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2002.
Call No.: REF 810.9

Folks, Jeffrey and James A. Perkins, eds. Southern Writers at Century’s End. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1997.

Foster, Mamie Marie Booth. Southern Black Creative Writers, 1829-1953: Biobibliographies. New York: Greenwood Press, 1988.
Call No.: REF 016.8109

Morrow, Mark. Images of the Southern Writer. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1985.
Call No.: NONFICTION 810.9975

O’Brien, Robert, ed. The Encyclopedia of the South. New York: Facts on File, 1985.
Call No.: REF 975.003

Riley, Sam G. Magazines of the American South. New York: Greenwood Press, 1986.
Call No.: REF 051

Robinson, Ella. A Guide to the Literary Sites of the South. Northport, AL: Vision Press, 1998.
Call No.: NONFIC 810.9975 ROBINSON

Roller, David C. and Robert W. Twyman, eds. The Encyclopedia of Southern History. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1979.
Call No.: GR 975.003 ENCYCLOPEDIA
Call No.: REF 975.003 ENCYCLOPEDIA

Snodgrass, Mary Ellen. Encyclopedia of Southern Literature. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 1997.
Call No.: REF 810.9975 SNODGRAS

Wilson, Charles Reagan and William Ferris, eds. Encyclopedia of Southern Culture. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1989.
Call No.: REF 975.003 ENCYCLOPEDIA

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Web Sites

American Passages - Unit 13. Southern Renaissance
Contains an overview and timeline of the Southern Renaissance period.


King, Richard, A Southern Renaissance: the Cultural Awakening of the American South, 1930-1955. New York: Oxford Press, 1980.
Call No.: NONFIC 810.9975

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Selected Authors
a list of writers of books, men and women who were born in Georgia or have lived in Georgia for at least five years.

Aiken, Conrad
Andrews, Raymond
Bambara, Toni Cade
Burns, Olive Ann
Caldwell, Erskine
Conroy, Pat
Deitz, Tom
Dickey, James
Diehl, William
Harris, Cora
Harris, Joel Chandler
Iakovou, Takis & Judy
Kay, Terry
Marshall, Catherine
Marshall, Peter
McCullers, Carson
Mitchell, Margaret
O'Connor, Flannery
Price Eugenia
Sams, Ferrol
Sibley, Celestine
Trobaugh, Augusta
Walker, Alice
Williams, Philip Lee

Web Sites

Georgia Writers
Links to pictures and authors from Georgia.

Georgia Writers
Information on membership in the Georgia Writers Association; a statewide association serving Georgia’s diverse literary community.

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"Tell me about the South… What’s it like there? What do they do there? Why do they live there? Why do they live at all?"
-William Faulkner from Absalom, Absalom

"Whenever I'm asked why Southern writers particularly have a penchant for writing about freaks, I say it is because we are still able to recognize one."
-Flannery O'Connor

"The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them."
-Mark Twain

"Nothing about us is quite the same as in the country to the North and West. What we carry in our memories is different too, and that may explain everything else."
-Charles Kuralt in Southerners: Portrait of a People

"People generally see what they look for and hear what they listen for."
-Harper Lee

"The American South is a geographical entity, a historical fact, a place in the imagination, and the homeland for an array of Americans who consider themselves Southerners. The region is often shrouded in romance and myth, but its realities are as intriguing, as intricate, as its legends."
-Bill Ferris

"Let us so live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry."
-Mark Twain

"The South, where roots, place, family, and tradition are the essence of identity."
-Social Historian, Carl N. Degler

"The South is the only place in the world where nothing has to be explained to me."
-Woodrow Wilson

"In the South, the breeze blows softer… neighbors are friendlier, and more talkative. (By contrast with the Yankee, the Southerner never uses one word when ten or twenty will do)… This is a different place. Our way of thinking is different, as are our ways of seeing, laughing, singing, eating, meeting and parting. Our walk is different, as the old song goes, our talk and our names."
-Charles Kuralt in Southerners: Portrait of a People

"I spent my childhood days, once my chores were done, in the top of a Formosa tree, devouring books from the parish bookmobile that lumbered down our country road a couple of times a month. Books were my pass to personal freedom. I learned to read at age three, and soon discovered there was a whole world to conquer that went beyond our farm in Mississippi."
-Oprah Winfrey

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